How many more stories have to contain the words: "biologists say they cannot remember a time"
or "it's very unusual"
or "such incidents are rare"
or "we have not seen other incidents"
before it really reaches the public that something is wrong with the earth? That the earth has a fever and it is trying to kill the damn organism that is giving it a problem?
Maybe this will help to breach some consciousness. On the major summer holiday weekend, beaches around here are posting signs and warning swimmers about jellyfish. Well, they aren't jellyfish--they are actually described as a gelatinous colony of organisms--Portuguese Man-of-War
. In any case, they are disrupting the holiday for some beachgoers.
From the article in the Boston Globe today (articles below snipped, and emphasis is mine):
Mass. feeling the sting of a Portuguese man-of-war invasion
By Phil McKenna and Emma G. Fitzsimmons, Globe Correspondents | July 4, 2006
NANTUCKET -- Poisonous Portuguese men-of-war, in an unusually large invasion, stung at least 14 people in Massachusetts during the last week, prompting periodic swimming bans on Cape and Islands beaches during one of the summer's busiest holiday weeks.....
While a few dozen of the animals drift into local waters every year in late July, local marine biologists say they cannot remember a time when the creatures appeared so early or in such overwhelming numbers....
Biologists say the animals probably were carried close to Southeastern Massachusetts by an unusual shift in part of the Gulf Stream, the warm ocean current that normally flows scores of miles to the east....
It reminded me of the articles I had read this past winter about all those Canadian seal pups that died because of the unusual weather:
Pregnant seals swarm islands
A lack of ice on the Northumberland Strait is forcing thousands of grey seals ashore to give birth....
"It's very unusual," said Jerry Conway, a DFO adviser on marine mammals. "We've never had reports of any numbers there, maybe 20 or 30 would be reported."
Grey seals prefer to give birth on ice floes. But with little ice in the Northumberland Strait, their birthing habits have been disrupted this year.
This was, unfortunately, soon followed by this story:
Seal pups washed away in storm surge
Hundreds of seal pup carcasses are expected to wash up on shores along the Northumberland Strait in the aftermath of Wednesday's storm....
Conway said such incidents are rare but do happen from time to time.
Of course, more recently, most of us saw this:
Polar Bears May Be Turning to Cannibalism
Polar bears in the southern Beaufort Sea may be turning to cannibalism because longer seasons without ice keep them from getting to their natural food, a new study by American and Canadian scientists has found....
"During 24 years of research on polar bears in the southern Beaufort Sea region of northern Alaska and 34 years in northwestern Canada, we have not seen other incidents of polar bears stalking, killing, and eating other polar bears," the scientists said.
Well, I'm going to spend today finishing The Weather Makers by Tim Flannery, using as little energy as possible, and see if I can figure out where to watch the Gulf Stream flow on a regular basis. Anyone know where you can watch that?